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How do you get direct payments? SS say we have no need.

(21 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Tue 11-Aug-09 18:54:53

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StarlightMcKenzie Tue 11-Aug-09 19:32:03

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juliaw Tue 11-Aug-09 20:33:45

sorry I don't as we haven't tried SS yet but our Carers Resource has its own sitter service - we are on the end of a long waiting list - basically specially trained babysitters - I think you get a few hours per month but better than nothing.

You can use SS complaints procedure and then go to the local govt ombudsman - you could check out the LGO site and see if they have upheld similar cases

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 11-Aug-09 20:49:12

Have social services said you meet the criteria for services. if so then you can request direct payments and they have to provide. If they have said you haven't met the criteria for services then you might struggle. It's not that easy to get services for developmental delays for such a young child ime.

I have written a little about dp's here Unfortunately they have changed all the links which were useful (anything governmental I had linked to seems to have gone). Will try to update now.....

PeachyLaPeche Tue 11-Aug-09 20:49:32

Hi Starlight

Their system doesn't work! Sadly beleive it or not there is no redress for SW< no way whaysoever of forcing their hand or actually getting your entitlements. Ridiculous- true though.

here, they don't cover AS. It's that simple, they say that and go. So they refused to help me find support to provide childcare when I was in labour. The fact ds1 was at that time injuring me daily, and his siblings, and that now only DH can hold him inrestraint is irrelevant apparently.

DS3 does qualify, therefore we are on a waiting list. One I suspect with no end. Oura ssessment just has /Mum is intelligent and coping' printed on each line, and a comment about not knowing if DH is on the scene and not meeting him, despite DH being sat next tome the entire meeting LOL!

The only chances you have really are via your MP and Councillors.

Do you have NAS befriending in your area? We find them far better, take ds1 out every week when we have a match (last one gone hom after Uni, we asked to leave it for the summer).

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 11-Aug-09 20:56:18

OK I've updated the link, the FAQ's are good and have been updated from before. It appears each area is a law unto itself. Waiting lists for dp's can be operated but this is not good practice.

r3dh3d Tue 11-Aug-09 21:05:06

It depends on where you live SMK. There are posters who have had good results by brandishing the law at SS and as a result know chapter and verse better than I do. I've not gone into it, sadly, on legal advice - if you live in an area with a really shite/desperate SS they just sneer at you - unless you qualify for legal aid you can't afford to take them to the court of appeal which is the only way to force them to do anything.

I think I'd put everything they have unofficially told you in writing and copy it back to them - always a good start. Some part of it will be dubious enough to cause nervousness in the higher strata. Your local Carers support group (Carers UK is a good start) may know how your local system works and which manager is a softer target. I've also heard of good results from contacting MPs etc. You want to do this in parallel with escalating through their official complaints system which they do pay some attention to as it generates paperwork for them. They will have one and it should be on the council web site.

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 11-Aug-09 21:09:53

Oh btw I work with some social workers and they explained to me that SS do not give a monkey's about your child's needs. They couldn't care less. They are concerned that YOU might flip and bash your child. If they think that you are near the end of your tether then they give more.

For that reason it is worth asking for a carer's assesment (or needs assessment??) for YOU as well. You are entitled to this as a carer and they have to do it within a certain length of time. They went a bit fidgety when I asked for one (and I got passed onto an excellent social worker who sorted out more in 6 months than anyone else had done in 5 years).

WetAugust Tue 11-Aug-09 21:27:57

My son now 21 gets Direct Payments. A social worker has to undertake an assessment to decide whether they need help that coulod be funded by DPs. They also undertake a carer's assessment - although I refused that.

Earlier contact with SS while he was in his teens yielded nothing - it seems they now take it more 'seriously' now he is an adult and clearly still developmentally delayed.

If it's just visits you've had to date I would request they undertake a formal assessment under the (google it ) Act and also one of you as the carer.

Social services is another of these areas that central Govt has develoved responsibility to Local Govt - so the first stop for a complaint is your Local Councillor followed by the Local Govt Ombudsman if you feel they have not followed due process, resulting in maladministration.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 11-Aug-09 22:07:27

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StarlightMcKenzie Tue 11-Aug-09 22:13:33

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asdx2 Tue 11-Aug-09 22:19:13

No idea on how to meet their criteria apart from to say we don't either. Our circumstances are two children with autism (moderate with learning difficulties and moderate to severe) a husband on chemo, no family (both parents on both sides dead) and three other children. But because our children aren't at risk then we aren't entitled. It doesn't matter that I haven't had a full night's sleep in 14 plus years and when hubby ill I have to provide 24 hour care for three our needs are not considered that great. How long can I keep it up? No idea but have no choice but to as far as I can see.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 11-Aug-09 22:25:30

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asdx2 Tue 11-Aug-09 22:30:20

I wouldn't have the time to fight tbh too busy trying to survive most of the time. Glad I've learned to survive without sleep and have at least got a sense of humour because I need it some weeks.

WetAugust Tue 11-Aug-09 22:50:05

Starlight - it is almost a fulltime job dealing with all the agencies etc. It certainly takes up most of my free time. I hate to say it but it's actually easier when your children are younger and you can deal with these people on their behalf. It gets a lot more difficult once they are post-16 and the first stepis convincing everyone that yes - you do have their authority to handle their affairs. At which point I usually have to prepare a letter for son to sign and send to them appointing me as his 3rd party rep.

Every age brings it's own set of new problems. And on that gloomy note......

I have just dug out the SS assessment that led to the award of Direct Paymnets.

There must be some difficulty that would warrent social services investigating. I got them interested because his Uni Welfare Advisor supported my request to call them in - I don't think they would have responded without that added weight. Is there anyone you could use to support your request? paed / HV etc?

They then assess 'Core Risks'
Suicide / Self-Harm
Risk from Others
Risk to others
Risks to Children
Aditional Risk factors (alcohol /drugs abuse, serious physical dis, limited sight, unable to communicate etc)
Risk of Loss of Contact
Social Risk Factors (e.g homelessnes etc)

Eacg risk is scored 1 -4 depending on severity. From that they determine the risk of not providing the service (Critical, Substantial, Modertae or Low)
That determines if support is required and if so, quantity and specific assistance.

I was told a few years ago that if you look like you can cope then they expect you to get on with it without their help. As i said before it's only now that's he's an adult that i am no longer expected to provide the support that I automatically did when he was a child and he therefore qualifies in his own right.

Best wishes

saintlydamemrsturnip Tue 11-Aug-09 23:01:13

Putting in an official complaint (you can do this from your council's webpage usually) does work ime. Especially if you make it clear that you will take it to the local govt ombudsmen. We had to do that to get the disabled facilities grant through. It didn't matter that ds1 was breaking a window a week with his head - that didn't speed anything up at all - (the DFG was to make the windows safe by replacing with double glazing) - the complaint did though. I had a senior manager sat on my sofa within a few days. I made it clear I would be going to the local govt ombudsmen.

Same threat worked with the LEA when they were ignoring the statement.

WetAugust Tue 11-Aug-09 23:16:04

Yep - they don't like the LGO do they grin

the problem is that before you can actually get the LGO to investigate your case you must exhaust the council's own complaints procedure. In our area that's a 3 stage process that took 18 months to complete before I could escalate my complaint to the LGO.

But your average council worker doesn't know that so it's worth trotting out the LGO and watch them react grin

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 12-Aug-09 08:36:49

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jemmm Wed 12-Aug-09 09:11:28


You have to follow each stage of the complaints process - there are three stages - tbh - by the sounds of it, you've pretty much exhausted the first stage, which is for the manager to try and resolve the issue.

@stage 2 they should get an independent person to review the case. Complaints Managers don't want your case to get to this level - it effects their workload, their budgets, and it looks bad on their end of year figures - they are judged by which stage of the process complaints are resolved at.

Stage 3 is a review panel - formal review of the case, by a committee (sp?). After that you reach the LGO - you'd hope not to get there - it's not in anyones interests.

But you have to follow their formal process. So if you haven't already - get in touch with the Complaints Manager today.

There will also be a councillor who leads on issues related to Social Services. Get in touch with them - SS. do not like elected councillors prying.

You could also go to your own councillor/MP. I'd save the MP as back up personally.

Here's the thing though - we're getting DP, but have been rejected for DLA (we're appealing obviously...), you get DLA, but no DP... Right that makes sense... hmm

Sorry the other thing that helped with us was having someone independent involved - our SALT, went through the eligibility criteria on the phone with the SW. If you have someone independent, disagreeing with their assessment, then their clearly onto a bit of a loser.

juliaw Hi - Barnardos run a similar service locally. But you have to get a referral via Social Services.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 12-Aug-09 09:25:59

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PeachyLaPeche Wed 12-Aug-09 09:48:32

We're ntoe ven entitled to a Carers Assessment because of the dodgy no AS rule (and they'll just point to the wait for ds3). As a carer I am knocked out (admittedly briefly) every two or three months by ds1 (last time when camping, just long enough to allow ds1 to escape) by a kick on the head but heck, why would they care?


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